|Location:||19km from Karjat, in Raigad district, of Maharashtra.|
Peb Fort / Vikatgad Fort is a fort located 19km from Karjat, in Raigad district, of Maharashtra. This fort is in continuation with the Malang gad, Tauli Hill and Chanderi fort of the Matheran Hill Range. Vikatgad is a favourite destination for the one day trekkers. The trek path to Vikatgad is along deep ravines and cliffs. Its closeness to Matheran and Neral is attracting a large number of trekkers on weekends. The forest dept. and local villagers are doing plantation and some restoration works on the fort.
It is assumed that this fort derived its name Peb from the ‘Goddess Pebi’ at the base of the fort. Historical references clearly indicate that Shivaji Maharaj used the caves on the fort as silos for grain storage.
Places to Visit on Fort:
The cave on the fort is occupied by disciples of Swami Samarth, a great saint. They have contributed a lot to development on this fort from last ten years. They have managed successfully to keep the cave and the fort clean, and maintained the dignity of the fort. Near to this cave are meditation caverns, which are underground. These caverns are still in good condition. One has to crawl into these and only one man can enter at one time. In monsoon two of these are filled with water. On the top we can go by climbing the wall of the fort. On the top we can see some remnants. The main attraction here is the bastion on the topmost part. This faces the mountain of Matheran. Here we can clearly see the ridge connecting mountains of Matheran and Peb.
On the other side of the fort is a temple of a deity. Here is a big cistern. The disciples are constructing a good temple here. We can reside here for some time. The beautiful waterfall on the way is the main attraction here. Surrounding scenery looks marvelous from the cave in the monsoon. From here we also see the pinnacles of Navara-Navari, Bhatoba and Irshaal, along with forts of Chanderi, Prabalgad and Malanggad and also Nakhind.
How to reach:
This fort can be reached from Panvel and Neral towns. The nearest town is Matheran which is 8km from Neral. The Neral is well connected by rail and road. It is a busy station on the Mumbai-Pune railway line. There are good hotels in Matheran and Neral.
There are many routes to reach the fort. The easiest is to reach Matheran by bus/car/train and start walking along the railway track. The route is very narrow. There are few trees on the trekking route. It takes about an hour to reach the entrance stairs of the fort. The night stay on the fort can be made in the Datta temple on the fort.
The other path is from the Kadya Ganpati idol. A scary walk along the lonely path is followed to reach the col on the north, then follow the trek path on the other side of the hill to reach the Peb fort.
The other two routes are very difficult. These trek routes start from the base village Mamadapur and Fanaswadi. It requires 3 hours to reach the fort from the base villages
Related Video (Peb Fort – Vikatgad Fort):
Best time to visit:
Trekking to Peb Fort – Vikatgad Fort is a very enjoyable trek in Monsoon season.